San Diego Business Journal

Independa Makes TV Screens Senior-Friendly

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Seniors are beginning to access communications and life management tools on their TVs as part of a pilot program coordinated by locally based Independa and LG Electronics USA.

Senior living communities in San Diego, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh have just begun to deploy LG’s Pro:Centric Healthcare TVs with Independa’s cloud-based Angela application.

LG Electronics’ Pro:Centric-enabled commercial televisions are designed to run complex, potential interactive applications written in Java, Flash or HTML5. With the Angela application, the TVs will feature an easy-to-use interface that allows seniors to set up daily medication and calendar reminders, as well as access email and Facebook and browse the Web. Additional features allow senior care facilities to broadcast such things as the daily menu or activity schedules that can be targeted to certain residents. Seniors navigate the interface with a custom-designed remote with a scrolling ball for easy point and click capability.

Dan Chavez, vice president of marketing for Independa, said the TV capabilities are an extension of the company’s Angela tablet, which is already available to consumers. Using a one-touch navigation system without a keyboard or mouse, Chavez said tablet users have access to games, photos, calendar, social connectivity such as Facebook, email and video chat, as well as health measures that present such biometric measurements as weight, temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, pulse and oxygen utilization.

Independa CEO Kian Saneii said LG’s presence as a commercial television vendor in the U.S. health care and hospitality markets makes the company an ideal partner for extending Angela to independent, senior living and long-term-care facilities.

“The flexibility of LG’s Pro:Centric IP (Internet protocol) TVs makes them a perfect match for our Angela solution,” Saneii said. “Together, we’ll deliver compelling elder-care services, which will be key to enriching the lives of the expanding elderly population.”

Independa and LG are demonstrating the offering at the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living 63rd Annual Convention and Expo continuing through Oct. 10 in Tampa, Fla. Demonstrations are also being given through Oct. 10 at the Health2.0 health care technology conference in San Francisco.

Chavez said one to three more pilot programs using the TV features will be conducted in the fourth quarter. Consumers are expected to gain access through senior living facilities, health plans and health care agencies as early as January, he said.